Fifty families are cut off and one house has been destroyed as a 170 feet landslip swallowed part of Mayo Road, Tortuga following heavy rains.
During a fiery protest in the village, residents called on the Government to respond immediately to save three more houses which are on the verge of collapse.
Tanuja Sookram and her husband Jason, who have already lost their home, said they wanted assistance to get back on their feet, having lost all of their possessions.
“We had to move out and go to stay by a relative lower down the street,” Tanuja said.
She explained that vehicles could no longer pass along the Mayo Road in Tortuga. Three other houses owned by Indira Persad, Ramdeo Lakhan and Shastri Lakhan are on the verge of collapse.
Tanuja said the landslip developed three weeks ago following heavy rains and since the road caved on two ends, residents have been forced to park up their vehicles and walk along the edge of the precipice to get to their homes.
Calling on Works Minister Rohan Sinanan to intervene immediately and provide temporary relief, resident Shanti Chocan said pupils from Tortuga Government Primary School were unable to get to school because of the landslip while farmers had no access to their lands.
“We have to walk about a mile to get out of the road because vehicles are no longer passing here. It is depressing. We have to walk with our groceries. Delivery trucks and garbage trucks cannot enter the areas and if there is an emergency, no ambulance can get in,” Chocan explained.
Another resident Nalini Ramsawak said it was a hazard walking into the village as some of the street lights were not functioning.
“We have had people stealing our car battery and other valuables when we park up our cars. We are afraid to walk in here so many of us have no choice but to keep our children away from school and stay home. We cannot go to work. We need help,” she added.
Farmer Sean Ramsawak said more than 50 farmers cultivate the lands along the Central Range but since the road caved, there is no access to bring out produce.
“I have about half an acre of pimentoes and hot peppers rotting out in the fields. I cannot walk for two and a half miles to get the produce out. Since the road collapsed, I have been unable to get into my lands to take out the produce,” he said. Jean Lakhan, whose home is on the verge of collapse said she was worried.
“I have seen what happened to my neighbour and I am begging them to fix the landslip before I lose my home too,” she added.
Councillor for Caratal/Tortuga Suresh Pooran =Maharaj said the landslip was causing devastation.
He said the electricity poles were on the brink of collapse. Maharaj said he contacted the Ministry of Works and was told that some assistance would be given. He noted that three loads of material were dropped at the landslip site but were swallowed up. Maharaj called on Sinanan to do some sheet piling to prevent further damage to property. Efforts to contact Sinanan on his cellular phone went unanswered.